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USA, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Strange New Worlds)

Director: Kathryn Bucher

A dreamlike tale from the margins of Americana, Buried has an otherworldly quality ideally suited to the dark fable that forms its core. Nineteenth century Montana: a woman's hand thrusts up through the earth of a shallow grave. She drags herself from the sod, emerging fully clothed in a saloon dancer's blonde wig. The woman, Little, forces herself on a fugitive brother and sister duo, on the run over an accidental killing. Initially wary, the siblings are won over by Little's seductive storytelling ability. Like a malign imp, this enigmatic woman seems to telepathically connect with them, intuitively picking up on repressed desires. Despite the fact that Little is dependent on the two for food and transport, she seems hellbent on fracturing the group; hints and visions of surreal violence abound.

Drawing on influences from literary heavyweights like Dante and Milton, Kathryn L. Bucher's self-described 'fairytale western' is a fascinating curio. The wilderness setting, tense dialogue and magical characterisations interact to create a subtly disquieting atmosphere reminiscent of the best of David Lynch.

A native Los Angeleno, Kathryn L. Bucher is a graduate from CalArts. Her previous film, Fast, screened at numerous international Festivals. Bucher fell in love with the mythic American West during horse-riding summers on her grandparents' farm and watching her brother compete in rodeos.

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